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Food Scraps Curbside Collection Pilot Will End Later This Year

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Food Scraps Curbside Collection Pilot Will End Later This Year

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Tompkins County Solid Waste Division announced a three-year food scraps curbside collection pilot will come to end on December 31st.

As of July 1st, the program had reached about 85% of all households in the service area, collecting from approximately 24% of the roughly 1,200 households on any given week. That means 174.4 tons of food scraps were diverted from the landfill to date.

Despite this success, the curbside program is simply too costly to maintain and expand. As a result, the pilot will conclude when the contract between Tompkins County Solid Waste and Casella Waste Systems expires at the end of the year. Participants were notified earlier this month, giving them plenty of time to prepare for the transition away from curbside collection.

Tompkins County will continue to expand the number of drop spots around the County where residents can take their food scraps to be recycled for free, including two new locations for 2017 in areas now served by curbside collection. One will be in the Village of Trumansburg, and the other will be near West Hill in Ithaca. Other drop spots will open this fall, bringing the total number of locations to twelve. Toolkits are provided to all participants free of charge.

“Our intent is to maintain a clean and convenient program for all residents,” said Solid Waste Manager Barbara Eckstrom. “While the curbside collection provided us with valuable data to help develop further food scraps diversion efforts, it just wasn’t cost-effective to maintain the program.”

Food Scraps Recycling offers residents the opportunity to reduce waste and save on their disposal costs. The food scraps collected, including meat, bones and dairy, as well as paper towels and napkins are taken to Cayuga Compost in Trumansburg, where it’s processed into a soil amendment that is marketed to landscapers, farmers and homeowners.

To learn more about food scraps recycling, visit www.recycletompkins.org.